RWSN Theme News

Equality, Non-Discrimination and Inclusion (ENDI)

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Theme Leaders: Louisa Gosling, WaterAid (LouisaGosling @
Jane Wilbur, WaterAid (janewilbur

Call for Input: Handbook on the Human Right to Water and Sanitation

The special rapporteur’s handbook on realisation of the human rights has now been produced, and dissemination is on-going. Hard copy dissemination is more slowly than anticipated but you can download it here. It would be great to know from RWSN members how you are already using the handbook.  Also to share any experiences you have of disseminating the handbook and what discussions you have had.

If you have stories to share, please send them to louisa.gosling

Call for Input: How can we tell people about the Human Right to Water?

We are currently working on ways to communicate information about rights to a wider audience. We will be developing summaries of the different sections, presentations and training materials to suit different audiences. We will keep you updated about progress in producing this material. But it would be good to know if you are interested in having different sorts of communication materials, how you would like to use them, what sort of communications would best suit your audiences, and which parts of the handbook would be most relevant.

Please share your requirements with louisa.gosling

Event: webinar on Gender Violence and WASH

The ENDI webinar on radio was very interesting, highlighting the importance of story-telling and drama to engage rural dwellers, as well as the way that community radio (in the local language) can educate rural dwellers, and give them a voice. You can listen to the recording here.

The next ENDI webinar (in English, and then in French) on the tricky issue of gender violence and WASH will be very challenging and interesting. It will share learning from the research into gender, violence and WASH that resulted in the recently published toolkit. Please join us.  You can register on

Call for Input: Inclusive Design

We will be holding a series of structured e-discussions and webinars on inclusive design later in 2015. These will be designed to gather member’s experiences of making rural water supply fully accessible for everyone throughout the total life cycle. It will cover construction, as well as the social and community aspects of rural water supplies. This information gathering may result in a RWSN publication giving practical guidance on this topic.

Contact Jane Wilbur (janewilbur

Publication: Compendium of accessible WASH technologies

This Compendium of low-cost technologies to improve the accessibility of household WASH facilities is designed for use by staff, such as health workers and community volunteers, working directly with communities in rural areas of sub-Saharan Africa. A few examples of technologies are presented that families can adapt to suit their needs and budgets. Many more options are possible. Most of the ideas are suitable for disabled and older people, but are suitable for anyone who may have difficulty using standard facilities. The main focus is on household facilities, rather than institutional facilities, although some ideas might also be useful in these settings.

The materials are available in English, French and Portuguese from the WaterAid website.

Contact Jane Wilbur (janewilbur

Other new publications



Accelerating Self-supply

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Theme Leader: André Olschewski, Skat (andre.olschewski @

For Rainwater harvesting see page 13

Event: Ongoing RWSN webinars on Self-supply

As part of the early 2015 webinars series of RWSN we currently organize webinars which are dedicated to Self-supply in particular. They are organized jointly by WorldVision and RWSN. Two of these bilingual webinars took place on 3rd February (English / French) and on 17th February (English / French). In these webinars case studies from Ghana, Tanzania, Ethiopia and Sierra Leone were presented. Concrete ideas on quality assurance e.g. through certification were shared and also on affordable funding mechanisms for rural households.

The last webinar on Self-supply will take place on 3rd March and will highlight the issue of roles of actors with particular focus on government’s role in Self-supply.  To take part register using this online form.

All recordings and slides of the webinars are available online.

For further information please contact: andre.olschewski @

Event: ‘My Water, My Business’: a Seminar and fair on Self-supply in Addis on 19/20th March 2015

Ethiopia is pioneering new approaches in water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) that draws on the resources of local people, communities and entrepreneurs to further improve water security, food security and wealth. ‘My Water, My Business’ is a series of linked events organised as part of the 2015 World Water Day celebrations to bring attention to these household-level efforts. The events will connect sector policy-makers, development partners, professionals, local governments and communities.

A Self-supply Seminar will promote local initiative and business to help all Ethiopian’s access safe water supplies. This seminar will bring together stakeholders to debate challenges and identify potential solutions to some critical policy issues in household-led water supply. International experiences on Self-supply in other countries through collaboration with the Rural Water Supply Network will provide food for thought in Ethiopia. Afterwards a reception will provide further networking opportunities. The focus of the sessions and panel discussion will cover the topics such as

  • Integrating approaches at the household level
  • Sustaining Self-supply at scale
  • Monitoring Self-supply and its contribution to safe national coverage


At a WASH product fair, old and new products and services will be presented: well digging and other artisan skills; manual drilling which can greatly reduce costs of borehole drilling in suitable areas; water pumps of all kinds from rope pumps to solar pumps and the latest low-cost motorised pumps; household level water storage solutions and filters and additives to make water safe at home for drinking; latrine slabs and other sanitation products. Financial services will also be given prominence. The fair is expected to attract over 50 exhibitors to showcase and sell their products and services. Attractions will include practical workshops, demonstrations, a photograph exhibition and short films.

In the afternoon, a business matchmaking event will link businesses with new customers, funders and partners in the promotion and development of low cost products and services for household-level WASH.

The My Water, My Business events are initiated by the JICA-funded WAS-RoPSS Project, Millennium Water Alliance, IRC, Aqua for All and the Global Water Initiative.

For more information: John Butterworth at IRC:

Research: Household Water Treatment studies in Ethiopia and Sierra Leone

Household Water Treatment and Safe storage (HWTS) is an important part of Self-supply. The Millennium Water Alliance (MWA) in Ethiopia, cooperates with Aqua for All in scaling up Self-supply and did a study about the state of art on HWTS options in Ethiopia. The study includes ideas to scale up with a market-based approach, and building up supply chains of effective and attractive HWTS products.

More information via Henk Holtslag

In Sierra Leone a similar study was done 2013 by Nestbuilders International , a copy can be downloaded from the ACCESS Dgroup library.

Implementation & Scaling-Up: TAF to support planning and implementation of rural WASH projects in Tanzania at national scale

To ensure participatory planning of rural WASH services and to improve sustainability of the services the Technology Applicability Framework (TAF) will be used in the 2nd phase of the Water and Sanitation Development Plan (WSDP) in Tanzania. To inform the actors on the TAF it will be included in the Project Implementation Manual (PIM) of the rural water and sanitation programme, the guideline for planning and implementation of WASH projects within the WSDP II. In spring 2015 different actors including Regional Water Advisor form 25 regions will be trained on various components of the PIM including the TAF.

For further information please contact:  or

Research: Comparative study rope pumps and piston pumps

In Tanzania there now are some 5,000 Rope pumps both for small communities and households

To compare Rope pumps with piston pumps like the Afridev and Nira regarding water quality, cost per capita and other aspects, the organisation ACRA undertook a comparative study. Some conclusions of the study are:

  • Rural communities do not prefer piston pumps to rope pump
  • The water quality of tested Rope pumps is lower than Piston pumps but this is mainly due to bad installation. If installed right there is not much difference in water quality.

​The study can be downloaded from: the Mzuzu Smart Centre, SHIPO and RWSN.


Sustainable Groundwater Development

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Theme Leaders:
Kerstin Danert (kerstin.danert @ Cost Effective Boreholes & Manual Drilling
Sean Furey, Skat, (sean.furey @ Handpumps and Water Source Protection

For UPGro see page 12

Publication: Manual Drilling Compendium 2015

The compendium has been compiled by Kerstin Danert (Skat Foundation), with support from UNICEF and numerous individuals and organisations promoting and supporting manual drilling. It provides an overview of the experiences, impacts and challenges of manual drilling from 36 countries. Manual drilling can provide a viable drinking water supply. The compendium should help to spur water supply stakeholders to consider this technology, and manual drillers themselves more seriously. Ultimately there is need for support to develop a processional manual drilling sector (where viable) alongside professional mechanised drilling.

The compendium, together with reflections on the government role in supporting manual drilling was presented at the RWSN webinar: Manual Drilling – a global perspective of local realities (English) / Le forage manuel – points de vue internationaux sur les réalités locales (French)

Download from RWSN.

Publications: Cost Effective Boreholes translated

As part of the on-going collaboration between UNICEF, Skat Foundation and WSP, RWSN has published all of the cost-effective boreholes guidelines in French, as well as English. Three are also available in Portuguese. These popular documents provide clear guidance with respect to the management, and implementation of drilling programmes. They are intended for project managers, government officials and professionals in the NGO and private sector.

English French Portuguese
1 Code of Practice for Cost-Effective Boreholes Code de bonnes pratiques pour la réalisation de forages
2 Procurement and Contract Management of Drilled Well Construction – A Guide for Supervisors and Project Managers Passation de marchés et gestion des contrats de construction de forages – Guide à l’intention des superviseurs et chefs de projet Procurement & Gestão de Contratos de Construção de Furos de Água:  Um Guião para Fiscais e Gestores de Projectos
3 Siting of Drilled Water Wells – A Guide for Project Managers


Implantation des forages – Guide à l’intention des chefs de projet
4 Supervising Water Well Drilling A guide for supervisors Supervision des forages d’eau potable Guide à l’intention des superviseurs Fiscalização de Furos de Água: Um guião para Fiscais
5 Costing and Pricing – A Guide for Water Well Drilling Enterprises Analyse des coûts et détermination des prix Guide à l’intention des entreprises de forage d’eau Cálculo de Custos e Preço: Guião para Empresas de Furos de Água
6 Sustainable Groundwater Development: use, protect and enhance Développement de l’accès durable à l’eau souterraine: utilisation, protection, amélioration


  • The guidance on procurement and contract management will be presented at the webinar on the 24th March, followed by drilling supervision will on the webinar on the 31st March. Both webinars will be in English and French. You can register here.

Publication: Handpump Standardisation in Sub-Saharan Africa: Seeking a Champion

One of the founding missions of the Handpump Technology Network (HTN), which was founded in 1992 and evolved into RWSN, was standardising handpump designs in countries where they are used. At the time, many countries, like Niger or Kenya had 20, or 30 different designs of handpumps scattered across their landscape with unsustainable – or no – supply chains to keep them working.  In this new publication, Jess MacArthur (iDE) brings the story of standardisation up to date and asks important questions about the future of handpump standardisation policies, and who will be the new champion for handpump sustainability. This RWSN publication by Jess MacArthur is based on her Masters Degree research at the University of Oxford.

Download from RWSN

Other new publications


Sustainable Services

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Theme Leader: Marieke Adank, IRC (adank

Call for Input: Upcoming Dgroups e-discussion on “Resolution”

Soon the Sustainable Services communities, in collaboration with Improve International, will launch an e-discussion that will focus on “resolution” – the process of addressing problems with water systems or toilets identified during monitoring or evaluation after a project. Questions that will be discussed include: How do we resolve issues when they arise? How can we learn from the monitoring data and integrate lessons learned into current and future programming? So keep an eye on your Dgroups emails, or subscribe to the Sustainable Services Dgroup community.  For more information on Resolution, please find here the Guidelines for Resolution of Problems with Water Systems (Executive Summary) and Guidelines for Resolution of Problems with Water Systems (full report).

Publication: Documentation of innovations related to sustainable water service provision

Over the last five years, Triple-S (Sustainable Services at Scale) has led a process of learning and innovation to improve rural water service delivery in Ghana and Uganda. This involved running a number of experiments that span the range of areas where innovative approaches to current challenges have been identified. This has included experiments on the use of mobile phones for improving the functionality of rural water systems, the creation of a new model for rural water service monitoring, and adopting a life-cycle costs approach for sustainable service delivery. The experiments have been documented, and results and recommendations have been shared with stakeholders in the two countries. Progress briefs on all experiments can be found on the IRC website. A series of policy briefs highlighting lessons emerging from the experiments in Uganda can be found on the Water Services that Last website.

Research: Community management or public management?

The Community Water plus project is investigating the type and resource implications of effective support services in community managed rural water supply projects throughout India. The research involves 20 case studies across different states and we’re nearly midway through the fieldwork with data collection completed for 9 case studies.

It is often said that community management emerged because of the failure of local government to delivery services but, at least in rural India, this trend seems to be in complete reverse. In many “community managed” schemes we are seeing a move away from a voluntary approach to model in which community contribution is formalised through the local government.  The project team want to share these experiences to see whether others working in South Asia have views on how community management has been changing? And for those of you working in other regions whether your experiences reinforce or contradict what we’re seeing in India? You can email your thoughts and inputs to

For anyone interested in learning more about the Community Water plus project please check out the project website.

For information contact Paul Hutchings p.t.hutchings@


Mapping and Monitoring

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Topic Leader: Joseph Pearce (pearce


Call for Input: Digital notes from the field; a user-perspective publication on applying ICT for monitoring rural water supply


Do you want to publish a peer-reviewed paper describing experiences using Information and Communication Technologies in your work or research? In 2015 we are launching a publication exploring how practitioners of rural water supply are using ICT to collect and use data on their projects and programmes. With the ever-increasing availability and accessibility of tools designed for the WASH-sector we want to capture the ideas and experiences of those using the technologies within their roles in NGOs, government or academia.


If you have a case study and want the opportunity to publish in a peer-reviewed journal we want to hear from you! This initiative is led by the Monitoring and Mapping Topic and we are excited to include papers from across the four RWSN Themes. So if you have experience using a mobile app for collecting data on self-supply, or for targeting interventions to socially excluded groups, please let us know. We can provide support for authoring and editing of papers.

Contact Joseph Pearce ( with your ideas and suggestions.

Call for Input: Help Shape Emerging Water Point Data Exchange Standard

For years, many organisations have been conducting water point mapping and generating valuable data. Today, we are asking for your help to determine how best to share that data. Based on an initial pilot and a robust desktop review that many of you supported (full write-up link below), the Water Point Data Exchange (WPDx) working group has put forth an initial standard for public comment. This draft standard is based on attributes that the majority of water point mapping efforts already collect. It would be great to have as many people as possible share their views on this draft to ensure that we end up with the best approach possible, and a standard that we all support and use.

Please take a moment to review the draft WPDx standard and share your comments at No lengthy registration is needed (just email validation), and you can even do it on your phone. I hope you will take a few minutes to help make this the standard we all want.

Contact Brian Banks (brian.banks



Author: RWSN Secretariat

RWSN is a global network of rural water supply professionals. Visit to find out more

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